Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Isaac Engel - June 16 & 25, 1992


What was Nordhausen like?

Hell. There was no work.

Worse than Gross Rosen?

Oh yes. There was no work. Absolutely no work. We were laying on cement floors, which they were garages before they had--I don't know, tanks or whatever they had there before. We were laying there. And there was no work. And every morning, when the lights turned on for the Appell--there was three times a day is Appell--four o'clock when they turned the lights on for the Appell. And there were--so these--so there were dead people laying everywhere.

From starvation?

Yes. From starvation or from sickness or from...

Still typhus.

No, they, most of 'em, I think that they were--got swollen from there. They were drinking, there were no food. And they were drinking water there, trying to get themself filled up. And a lot of water on that swollen. All kinda things they died. Mostly from starvation. And everybody looked the same. You couldn't recognize from one guy almost from the other. Everybody looked the same because they were bones, skin and bones. [pause] You have to knew exactly to s...to tell the difference between one person to the other.

So you, you were in a large barrack in Nordhausen.



We were laying on floors.

Just in one large room.

Yes. Large, large hole. A big--they probably, they had tanks. It was like a garage. A big, great big garage.

And the Germans were still in charge.

Oh yes.

No, no more Ukrainians.

No, not when we came to Gross Rosen there was no more Ukrainians.

Into Germany.

They were German SS. But they had some Ukrainians in the SS also. They were wearing German uniforms. Some of 'em. I didn't see 'em there, but I saw 'em in Dora. Because you can tell by their language, you can tell.

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